Category Archives: From the Staff

From the Director ~ July 2020

Bob and Roger play each other the first round of the Mission’s ping pong tournament

Dear Friend of the Mission,

We have an amazing and dedicated staff here at the Whosoever Gospel Mission. Every day without fail our staff members show up at the Mission ready to serve the Lord by serving our men. Each staff member shows up with dedication, enthusiasm and joy for the work that the Lord has given us to do. When you think about the Mission and COVID-19, our story is pretty remarkable. We have been operating at our 55-bed capacity during the whole pandemic. We have a staff of 21 which sadly was cut to 15 because of the closure of our two thrift stores. Thankfully we have called back all of our full-time staff with the exception of one staff member who is looking to retire. On any given day during the entire pandemic, our staff members were and continue to be fearless. With 55 residents and 15 staff members, we have about 70 people living and working at the Mission. Humanly speaking, the probability of the coronavirus making its way into the Mission was and is rather high. We did everything we could to keep the virus out and to protect our residents and staff, but at times we felt like we were fighting a forest fire with a garden hose. We realized that ultimately God was the only one who could protect the Mission and keep us all safe. And the Lord has in fact done so! As of the date of this letter (I am writing this letter on July 1st), we have not had one case of COVID-19 in the Mission. Our residents and staff have all stayed healthy. We thank God for His amazing grace and mercy.

And through it all, our staff never complained. They never hesitated to come to work and risk their health and possibly even their lives. Our staff understood that we are essential workers and that the Mission is an essential life-giving ministry permitted by the government to stay open. But above all, our staff understood that our ministry is a ministry close to the heart of God. Our staff did not call out sick or suggest we stop taking in new homeless men, nor did they ever suggest that perhaps we should close down the Mission until the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Our staff understood that a ministry such as ours cannot be done by staying home, or by doing our ministry virtually online. Our ministry must by necessity be done face-to-face – ministering the love of Christ to our residents in person – meaning we daily become the hands and feet of Jesus to our men in practical, compassionate and tangible ways.

Thank you for your kind and generous support. You are our critical supply lines, prayer intercessors, and cheerleaders. We cannot do what we do without your continued support.

Pressing on with joy & steadfast endurance,

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ July 2020

From the Director ~ June 2020

Dear Friend of the Mission,

Because of your kind and generous support, our ministry to homeless men is going strong in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to operate at our 55-bed capacity, we continue to serve three delicious and nutritious meals a day, our Overcomers drug and alcohol meetings are held twice a week, all of our men have a scheduled counseling session at least once a week, tutoring and classes are still conducted with face masks and social distancing, we still have chapel services (although we have divided our men into smaller groups so our men can spread out in chapel and maintain social distancing), seven of our men are employed, and best of all, as of the date of this letter, not one resident or staff member has gotten sick with COVID-19. Our residents and staff are working hard to keep COVID-19 out of the Mission, and by God’s grace and mercy, everyone has stayed healthy. Please continue to pray with us that we get through this pandemic without one case of COVID-19 in the Mission.

I have so much to thank you for during these challenging and difficult days. You have been a friend that sticks closer than a sister or brother. Thank you for your financial support, for your prayers, for masks that you made for our residents and staff, for food donations, for donations of retail gift cards, for encouraging emails, cards, texts and Facebook postings; for donations of paper products and cleaning supplies, for special dinners purchased for our men from a Germantown pizzeria, for holding onto your thrift store donations until we are permitted to reopen our two stores, for sending additional financial gifts to the Mission to make sure we can pay our bills, for making up Blessing Bags filled with treats for our men, and for letting us know in so many ways that you are with us and for us – that we are not facing this pandemic alone. The Lord promises to never leave us or forsake us. I think one of the ways that God fulfills that promise is through friends such as you who stand with us during such a trying time as this.

I especially want to thank you for your patience in receiving our thank you letters and receipts for your gifts. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, everything takes longer to do – nothing is easy. And every day is filled with unexpected challenges. There is many a night that I am still awake in the wee hours of the morning weighed down with concerns over the present and future welfare of the Mission. And thankfully, the Lord gently reminds me to cast my burdens upon Him – His shoulders are bigger than mine. I thank the Lord for that truth! Thank you for helping us to “keep on keeping on.” We are pressing on to better days. Please find enclosed a wonderfully creative photo from one of our residents that is all about joy!

Working together with you,

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Please check out this wonderfully creative photo from one of our residents that is all about joy!

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ June 2020

A Word from Jeff Foxworthy

The Whosoever Gospel Mission is a member of Citygate Network. Any donation you make to the Mission will help us care for men experiencing homelessness as together we weather the Coronavirus pandemic.

Posted in From the Staff, Photos & Videos | Comments Off on A Word from Jeff Foxworthy

Thanks for the masks!

So many of you responded to our need for reusable masks that we now have an ample supply!

Thank you!

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on Thanks for the masks!

Thank you!

To everyone who has given so generously to help keep us going as a safe haven for homeless men with nowhere else to turn during this pandemic, we say thank you!

Please know that while your financial donation receipts and thank you letters are delayed because of a staff shortages and the extra challenges we are all facing at this time, our gratitude is not!

You are a part of God’s rich blessing to us, and we thank you,

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on Thank you!

From the Director ~ How you can help during the COVID-19 pandemic

Executive Director Bob Emberger with cleaning and household supplies for a New Life Program graduate moving into his own place a short while ago. We need more supplies like these.

Pray.  Please pray for our residents and staff.  Please pray that the Lord will place a hedge of protection around the Mission and keep the coronavirus out of the Mission.  Please pray for the health and safety of our residents, staff and their families.  We had to lay off 6 staff members (almost 1/3 of our staff) and make salary and budget cuts to keep the Mission viable.  Please pray that things soon return to normal, and we can recall our staff members.   

Give.  Our two thrift stores are closed which results in a loss of $30,000 – $32,000 each month.  All of our budget cuts and layoffs will cover less than ½ of our lost income.  We need your help to make up the other half in lost income.  You can mail your check in or make an online gift. 

Donate.  Please donate gift cards (mailing them to us is fine) to the following stores:  Walmart, Aldi, Giant Supermarkets, Target, Home Depot or Lowes.  We still need to buy food, cleaning supplies, and facility maintenance supplies.  We also need disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol, or any other brand) and hand sanitizer (any size container).     

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on From the Director ~ How you can help during the COVID-19 pandemic

Donate Now ~ Help Us Help the Homeless

During this COVID-19 outbreak, our shelter for men experiencing homelessness remains open. Please consider donating to help us at this crucial time while we provide services to men who truly have no place else to go. This is home.

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on Donate Now ~ Help Us Help the Homeless

From the Director ~ April 2020

Executive Director Bob Emberger teaching a class on Professional & Vocational Development

Dear Friend of the Mission,

        Wow, it has been a wild ride the last several weeks with the coronavirus outbreak.  With confidence and trust in the Lord, we believe that God calls us to act in wisdom as we seek to love and protect the homeless men who live at the Mission as well as our staff and their families.  We are instructing our men every day to practice good personal hygiene, we have canceled all volunteer service and chapel groups to minimize the risk of someone from outside bringing the virus into the Mission, we are routinely taking the temperature of our residents and staff, we are regularly sanitizing all high-touch surfaces, and men who are not feeling well are being examined ½ a block away at the City Health Center.  While it is hard to maintain social distancing in a tight-knit community such as ours, we are instructing our residents and staff to not shake hands, to cough into their arms, to wash their hands frequently, to not touch their face, and to refrain from friendly hugs and pats on the back.  And as a precaution for our entire Mission family, which includes you, we have canceled our Night of Celebration on Saturday, April 25th.      

        The stark reality is that the homeless men who live at the Mission have no place to go – the Mission is their home.  Our residents are some of the most vulnerable people facing COVID-19.  Many of our men have chronic health conditions that compromise their ability to fight off the coronavirus if infected.  Our men are poor and destitute, they are homeless and do not have a place to stay apart from the Mission, they are unemployed, and they do not have the resources and social safety-net that most of us have during a national emergency such as now.  We therefore need your help to keep the Mission open as a safe haven and refuge for our residents. 

        Please support us financially as generously as you can.  We know that many of you are also suffering from reduced income and increased expenses (e.g., child-care because the schools are closed).  But for those of you who are financially able, we really need your help.  Our thrift store income is taking a huge hit, our church speaking engagements are all canceled, churches and schools are not collecting food and other needed supplies for us because they are closed, and donations of leftover perishable food from supermarkets have decreased because people are over-buying food when they shop.  Above all, please pray for us.         

        By God’s mercy and grace, we know we will get through this.  I encourage you to read, rejoice, and rest in the truths of Psalm 46 – we will not be afraid, the Lord is with us. 

Pressing on with hope,

Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ April 2020

From the Director ~ February 2020

Dear Friend of the Mission,

Our 2019 Christmas celebration at the Mission was wonderful! Your financial gifts, gifts of new toys for the children and grandchildren of our men, gifts for our men and all sorts of other wonderful kindnesses made Christmas 2019 a delightfully amazing time at the Mission. Thank you for making Christmas for our men a time of celebration, joy and hope rather than a sad time filled with loneliness, heartache, regrets and hopelessness. Our men and their families join with me in thanking you.

I also want to thank you for your kind and generous support throughout all of 2019! You have given us money, food, good used items for our thrift stores, laundry detergent, personal care items, office supplies, over-the-counter medicines, paper products, cleaning supplies, trash bags, new underwear and socks, pillows, good used grocery bags for our thrift stores and a host of other blessings. You have supported us financially through generous cash gifts, employee giving programs such as the United Way and the Combined Federal Campaign, gifts of stock, donor-advised fund grants, employer matching gift programs, and gift cards to stores we shop at for the Mission. You do so much – it is impossible to send a thank you note for everything that you do for us, but if I could, I would thank each of you individually and in person. The Mission is ultimately not about programs or buildings, but it is about loving broken and hurting homeless men with the love of Jesus, giving them a hand-up and not just a handout, giving them a solid hope that changes their lives both now and forever. There are hundreds and even thousands of Mission graduates who are living good lives today because your gifts were used by the Lord to make a big difference in their lives through the Whosoever Gospel Mission.

With heartfelt thanks,


Robert A. Emberger, D.Min.
Executive Director

    

Posted in From the Staff, Uncategorized | Comments Off on From the Director ~ February 2020

Cancelled – Night of Celebration – April 25th

UPDATE: Due to our efforts as a community to stop the spread of the coronavirus, we have cancelled our previously scheduled annual Night of Celebration that was to be held on April 25th, 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, PA.

Posted in From the Staff | Comments Off on Cancelled – Night of Celebration – April 25th